I drank from a young age. Sneaking and getting a sip now and then. There was always liquor in the house. Always a beer left lying around, here and there.
When I was little my grandmother’s friend, Bo, made some dandelion wine, and left it lying around in a jug. Yep, I took a sip every now and then. Heck, they probably let me take a sip and that’s how I knew I wanted more. Even then it didn’t take much to get me hooked.
When I was a teenager I would spend the night with my girlfriend and we would get a bottle of Wild Irish Rose wine and get tore up. Once, I passed out from drinking so much and they carried me to the bed.
I didn’t like that my parents drank so much, but I did it when I could. I didn’t like their smoking, but I tried it at 16 and it made me dizzy every time and I had to lie down. It took awhile to get used to. I was never a heavy smoker. A pack lasted 3 days. That’s about 7 cigarettes a day. A pack was 50 cents back then. I smoked Benson and Hedges Menthol. It lasted seven years and I stopped cold turkey, thank God. I told God that this huffing and puffing running for the train didn’t make any sense. I was too young to sound like that trying to catch my breath.
The smoking, the drinking and the drugs stopped cold turkey. Never fell off the wagon for any of it. That’s ALL GOD. He did that. I’ll tell you more next time. I have to get in the bed.
I started typing my Sunday sermon notes and stopped after two paragraphs. That’s not what this is supposed to be about. This is supposed to be a testimony blog.
Earlier tonight I posted several songs on my Facebook page that were all about being grateful to God for His many blessings and all He’s brought me through. I listened myself into a spirit of gratitude and posted the same songs on Twitter. Hopefully, someone else will listen and think about God’s goodness. I have to praise Him because He’s been a mighty great God. That was one of the songs: How Great Is Our God.
I remember a time when I used to hang out regularly at a bar called ‘Siblings’. It was like that show called “Cheers.’ You wanted to go where everybody knew your name. Some people knew my name but the regulars recognized my face, for sure. I would practically close the place down and be one of the last ones out after a night of drinking hard liquor and beer too. Rather than make a list of everything I drank, let’s just say I drank everything except gin. I was a mixer and had many a headache and hangover the next day. It was pitiful. I drank because I was depressed and I was depressed because I was drinking.
Sometimes I drank to get drunk and then couldn’t remember too much the next day. Blackouts are real. How many times have I had to ask someone: What did I do? What did I say? How did I act? How did I get home? Again, pitiful.
Back then I would stay in a bar for hours and close them out. That was my odd social life when I didn’t stop to get my own booze to take home. I thank God after so much drinking for 20+ years my liver is still intact. That was a long time ago. Now, I enjoy being in church and staying there long after service is over. I can’t get enough of having a relationship with God rather than the routine of religion. What a big difference! Thank You Lord for leading me to a new place in You!
In the past, I had all kinds of relationships with all kinds of things and all kinds of people. BUT GOD! I don’t look like what I’ve been through. Hallelujah!
I feel SO GUILTY! It’s been six days since I posted anything! I promise, I’ll do better. This blog is like my new baby and already I’m guilty of baby blog neglect.
Okay, it’s time to set the record straight. Even though it appears I’m talking to myself, I let all kinds of things get in the way of this new relationship. We’re supposed to be bonding and I’ve gone off and left you all alone. We’ll never get to that point where I start spilling my guts if I don’t come in this blog room and spend more writing time with you, whoever, wherever you are.
Tomorrow I’ll be back. I need to go to bed now so I can get up and go to church.
Hope you have a great day.
Good morning, good afternoon, good night.
Sunday, 7/7/13, my Pastor preached a sermon called Family Feud. These are the notes I wrote.
God spoke to Abram and told him to leave home. He obeyed God. Genesis 12:5. Abram did not just take his wife and Lot. He took the people too. There was a group of people following one man. There is a blessing in being obedient. Abram obeyed and was blessed. Genesis 13:2. When you’re connected to someone who is blessed, you’re blessed too.
Genesis 13:5. Lot was blessed with flocks, herds and tents because of his connection to his uncle. When you’re blessed, look out for the enemy who will try to cut your connection. The devil doesn’t like blessed people. They were so blessed the land could not hold them and all they owned. Genesis 13:7. There was an argument among their men. There had to be a division between Abram and Lot. A house divided can’t stand. The neighbors in the land are watching Lot and Abram. You don’t want outsiders to see what’s going on in your home. Your parents told you to keep family business in the house. You don’t want to be on a rocky boat like Jonah. If you’re the reason my boat is rocking, you have to go.
Genesis 13:11-13. Abram told Lot to choose where he wanted to live. When you have the option of making choices, make the right decision at all times. Make decisions that put you in the Will of God.
Abram chose to live in the land of Canaan. He could hear God. Lot chose to live among the cities. Genesis 13:12b. He pitched his tent toward Sodom, where there was wickedness and sinning. People like to go where the noise is. Lot could hear the crowd. Don’t get so close to something that you get pulled in and you find yourself doing things you thought you would never do. Teenagers like to go where the action is, outside of their parents’ home.
Genesis 14:11-12. Lot was carried off and all his possessions. Now here’s a family feud.
We shout over the wrong things; a house or a car. What about your children and your spouse? Heaven does not care about your promotion. They want your family members to be saved! You don’t want them going to hell. You’re saved, but your family members are on drugs and they’re alcoholics. The devil is a liar! As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Take back what belongs to you! The devil wants to take your children.
Is your family saved? Where are your children? God, please chase them until they say yes. My children will be saved this year! Are we going to be selfish and shout over stuff? Don’t dance over a car. Pray for God to deliver your family members. Stop talking about you and pray for someone else!
THE TAKE BACK.
How do you take it back?
*You can’t ignore it. Genesis 14:14a. Abram heard about Lot being captured.
Call it out. Look at your children. Are your son’s lips black, his eyes yellow, and does he stink? You think your daughter is a virgin, but that’s not what everybody else is saying. Take authority with your kids. Be a parent; you can’t be their friend. It should get to you that your family is not saved.
*Get an army together. Chapter 14 is the first we hear of Abram fighting. Genesis 14:14b. He had 318 trained fighting men, just in case. You better have an army of prayer warriors together, just in case. You need back up in case the devil tries something.
Call out your family member’s name to come forth and put a praise on it.
*Pursue. Genesis 14:15. Be consistent in calling on God on your family members’ behalf. Get a pit bull mentality. Believe God for them and fight in the spirit. If you have the faith to say it, you should believe it. Fight for them like you’re crazy. Be persistent and continue to love on them. Show God’s love at all times. Release their name in the spirit so that God will arrest them. Get over the rejection and being talked about. Keep your children’s names in the atmosphere. God is able! The devil is already defeated.
*The Recovery. Genesis 14:16. Abram recovered all, everyone and everything. Believe God will save your family members before the year is out. You should want your whole house saved. Watch younger children; they can have spirits too. Write down the name of the person you want to be saved and delivered before the year is out and take it to the Lord in prayer. There Is Power In The Name Of Jesus.
Friday night I went to a small woman’s group called Beauty For Ashes. I’ve been attending this monthly meeting since last year. What got me there was their first session back in October, with beauty treatments (makeup, manicures and massages). They had me at massage. Well that happened only one time. Normally, they have appetizers and fellowship, go into the church, have praise and worship, ice breakers, announcements, small discussions and then a mini sermon.
I’ve grown attached to these young women over the months even though there have been no more massages. That was the bait on the hook that got me there and I’ve enjoyed the fellowship the first Friday of the month ever since. This past Friday night they were having small group discussions about domestic abuse. While I’ve never experienced that first hand, though I was raised in that environment, I shared sexual childhood abuse that catapulted into a series of experiences that affected me the rest of my life. I couldn’t believe I was sharing something so extremely personal with the ladies and going into details like I was talking about a movie I’d seen. Yet, I was sharing scenes from a movie I’d starred in. It was freeing to talk about it and not worry if somebody was going to tell somebody else. It kinda didn’t matter. I told them about all the things the Lord had delivered me from. If I ever get around to writing a book, I’m going to spill my guts there too.
If anyone ever responds to these posts and shares their testimony, maybe we can get the ball rolling. You tell me something, I tell you something. Right now, I’m talking to the wind waiting to get caught up in the clouds and rain down testimony after testimony.
I made 56 last week by God’s grace and mercy. God has been so good to me down through the years. I want to tell it all.
Have a blessed Sunday. Hope you enjoy your church services.
Just wanted to comment on the previous post. It’s true; you have to release to receive. I’m a witness that you reap what you sow. It’s truly a blessing to be a blessing.
God expects us to help one another. We can’t keep everything to ourselves. One of my spiritual gifts is giving. It just comes naturally. If I were a multimillionaire I’d be giving away money left and right. I pray that I find out if that’s what I would do. Looking for a miracle like that to come in my direction. I told God He can trust me to bless others because I will release it rather than hold on to it.
At my church we recite at offering time: I’m a tither and a giver. I am blessed beyond measure. I have more than enough. I am living in my overflow. I am living an Ephesians 3:20.
God has proven Himself over and over. When I release, I receive. He has allowed me to be more of a blessing to others unemployed than when I was employed. That’s God’s math. I don’t even try to figure it out. He uses me to help people, and down the road, here’s a blessing coming back to me, multiplied. He’s an amazing God. Amazing!
We learn as children to share because that’s pretty much what we’re going to be doing the rest of our lives. Don’t hoard. Let it go and help somebody else. You’ll feel better and God will be pleased. He’s watching, listening, and remembers all that you do. He’ll bless you in His time and it’s usually right on time. Thank you, Lord.
These are notes I took at Bible Study Tuesday night while my Pastor was teaching:
We pray for ourselves. It’s always me, me, me. Who do you serve? Who do you minister to? Who do you give to? You have to release. You can’t even take your next breath until you release the one you have.
We catch many types of fish in the church. The educated must release so they won’t be full of themselves. Don’t build a gated community around yourself. You have to help others. We can’t be selfish. Jesus said go in the highways and the byways. The whole don’t need a physician. We need to minister to the lost. Use me, Lord. We must look for opportunities to release. The Takers will take advantage of you and you can’t even get a thank you.
The older must teach the younger. Someone has to tell young ladies they can’t shower like a man. They have to sit in the tub and rest in the Lord. Someone has to tell young men they have to change their underwear every day and use some cologne. Sometimes parents don’t teach us what we should know. Don’t be selfish. Release, then you will receive.
RELEASE THE OIL.
Read 2 Kings 4:3-6. A man died with a debt and by right the sons could have been taken as slaves. The widow went to Elisha. He asked her, what can I do for you? He could have stopped there and spoke some things into existence but he immediately asked, “What did you have in the house?” He told her to get her kids and ask for all the empty jars in the neighborhood. The greater the hustle, the greater the blessing. When they had done that he told her to close the door. Then she wouldn’t have to hear people’s opinions.
She had to take the little oil she had and pour in each jar. When it was full, start another jar. You must release the little you have. Use me, Lord. God knows what you have to give because He gave it to you. The oil stopped flowing when all the jars were filled. Elisha told the widow that she could pay off her debt. Why did the sons have to take part in that? Because your children need to see your God at work.
Now you can get a job, now you can pay your bills, now you can have money and not try to impress folks. A little money is a lot of money to someone who doesn’t have any money.
God can’t restore you with anger and non-forgiveness in your spirit. He will make you pray for the ones who did you wrong. God has more for you. Don’t let nothing stop your blessing. Read Job 42:7-10. God sent Job’s friends to him so he could pray for them.
Have you ever had someone treat you really badly in public and in private they asked you to pray for them? If someone has done you wrong, let it go. Be happy if they get blessed. In fact, you should speak blessings on them. After Job prayed for his friends, after he released the prayers, he got back everything he’d lost and had more than before.
RELEASING THE RESOURCES.
If you’re living well, you’re blessed. If you have a car that goes from point A to point B, you’re blessed. Why are we blessed? It’s a blessing to be a blessing.
Read 2 Kings 4:8-10, 14-16. A woman fed Elisha a meal. Then it turned into meals, because he always stopped by to eat. She thought of more she could do for Elisha. Up your game. This is a holy man. She talked to her husband and decided to make him a furnished room on the roof. Look for an opportunity to be a blessing.
Elisha wanted to bless the woman back. She’d sowed the material. He sowed into her hurt spirit when he found out she and her husband had no children. He told her this time next year she would have a child. Lock it in. Commit to it. He had been eating and running. She was making him comfortable. Locking Elisha into her house was like locking God in her house. If you lock God into your life, He will blow your mind. One meal turned into a shut-in. God will resurrect things in your spirit. Your labor will not be in vain. Look for an opportunity to be a blessing.
RELEASING YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT.
You will be let down. You just have to grab the horns of the altar. God already knows what He’s going to do. Don’t put God on probation. Don’t walk away from God because you’re disappointed. It will clog your arteries and your blood can’t flow.
David’s baby was sick. David was praying and the baby died. What are you going to do? Everybody sees you praying. They don’t want to see you have a relapse. Let it go. Release and receive. Release depression and disappointment. The plane can’t land because of your depression. You’ve got a runway full of disappointment. Let it go! God will put the right people in your life. Do not cry over who is not there; instead, celebrate who is there.
Read 2 Samuel 12:20-23. David found out his baby died and he worshiped. Worship will deliver you from anything. Let’s clear the runway! David could always have another child. The atmosphere had to be right to create another baby. The next baby turned out to be Solomon, who grew to be a wise king. Release! Better is coming in your direction! Things have to die out in our life for a reason.
RELEASE YOUR FAITH.
When you’re hurt, it’s hard to make yourself believe again. Release your faith. If you’re the type who has to connect all the dots, it will jack you up. Why this? Why that? You can’t make sense out of sin. Sin don’t make no sense. You’re a control freak. Stop. He is God! Release that!
Read Matthew 8:5-10. He told Jesus, just say the word and my servant will be healed. You don’t have to come to my house. Just speak it. Jesus saw the man’s faith.
Young people come to church on fire for the Lord with crazy faith. Don’t let these folks who have been in church all their life mess up your faith. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. It’s going to happen. I believe God! Up your faith!
Your sacrificial lifestyle pays off. God will require some things from you. There are places they can go, but you can’t go. Jesus wants you in an isolated place. He brings your body under subjection. You can’t have what your flesh craves.
Read 2 Chronicles 7:1-3. The people brought a sacrifice and fire consumed the sacrifice. God’s Gory filled the temple. The Glory demands respect. Even if people don’t like you, they have to respect you. Put something out there so God will come and get it.
RELEASING YOUR PRAISE.
God’s Glory will come. You can’t live a raggedy life if you expect God to come. There’s a war between spirit and flesh. What does God want you to do? You want His Glory to come. Your sacrifice is about to pay off. Don’t regret the hurt, pain and disappointment. When you release, you receive the Glory of God. We want to receive His Glory. Release your worship. Tell God: I give myself away. I am Yours. Thank Him in advance that the Glory of the Lord will be heavy in your life. Set yourself up to be blessed. Release so you can receive.
***My written Bible Study notes as taught by P.J.F.H. of N.L.C.SE – 7/2/13
(not sure if I can use names in a blog).
This is a new day called Independence Day. I am free from everything that had me bound. When I was younger, I was addicted to so many things. I won’t go into detail right now, but later. I had to be freed from sex, drugs, alcoholism, sin and all the things that go with this. One day I will elaborate but this is just my third post and I can’t write the entire book today.
I had to be freed from depression, low self-esteem and the shame, guilt and condemnation that resulted from all the things I’d done in my past. Believe me, I don’t look like what I’ve been through and people who know me wouldn’t believe me if I told them my story. God only allowed me to go so far before He snatched me out of the hand of the enemy.
God is a Deliverer. I must have grieved His Spirit during that time but He still protected me from the horrible things that could have happened to me. God is a Keeper. I know He loves me because He pulled me out of a messy life. The prayers of my mother and grandmother were covering me because I wasn’t thinking about nothing but feeling good any way I could. My family never had a clue about anything I was doing. Never.
I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Even now, I can’t believe how I used to be. My parents didn’t raise me like that. In fact, I was over protected. Yep, it’s always the ones who couldn’t do what their friends were doing and couldn’t go where their friends were going. I was sheltered, like a caged bird.
When I left home to go to college and stay on campus, it was my first taste of independence. My boyfriend practically lived with me all four years in an all girls dorm. It’s a wonder I got any school work done. I was having the time of my life when things weren’t going horribly wrong. I’ll save that for another day.
When I moved into my first apartment a year after graduation, I really went nuts, doing everything under the sun. BUT GOD! I’ve got a million stories and I’m sure you do too.
I’m going to stop here and write another post about what I learned in Bible Study Tuesday night. Testimonies never expire!
Today’s sermon was about the Benefits Of Provision. I am a witness that God is a Provider. He has been taking great care of me down through the years. I am amazed at how He makes a way out of no way and He’s an on time God. He knows what I need before I even ask and He always makes sure I get what I need in time. This is true for my family as well. He takes great care of us and I am so very grateful.
The Sunday sermon was based on the story of the widow’s oil. When we think it’s all over for us and our back is against the wall, God has a way of showing us we have had the answer all along, inside of us or in the house. Just like He asked Moses what was in his hand, the widow had a little oil that God stretched for her to fill up multiple jars until she had more than enough to pay her debt.
I believe that God gave me the gift of writing and this will be the answer to everything that is lacking in my life. I must pour the oil of praise onto a worthy God by writing and writing until my change comes. It’s what’s in my hand and I’m going to use to testify and encourage others to testify about how wonderful God is. We like to be praised and so does God. Let’s show Him some love each and every day. He’s given us everything.